Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.3 earthquake hits near the south coast of Honshu, Japan.

5.2 earthquake hits New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

5.1 earthquake hits Fiji.

5.0 earthquake hits the Solomon Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic ridge.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

In the Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical Storm Erick is located about 1410 mi…2270 km wsw of the southern tip of Baja California and about 1865 mi…3000 km ese of Hilo Hawaii with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…w or 280 degrees at 16 mph…26 km/h.

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Wildlife

Tanzania to shut part of wildlife preserve to big game hunters

Covering 50,000 sq km (19,000 sq miles), the Selous reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa, and is famed for its elephants, lions, black rhinos, hippos and giraffes.

About 8% of the Selous, which is larger than Switzerland, is dedicated to photo-tourism while the rest is a hunting reserve.

Selous Game Reserve is to be split into two. A bigger area of the wildlife sanctuary on the upper side will be turned into a national park where hunting activities are not permitted. A smaller area will remain open to hunters to generate much needed tourism dollars. Tanzania relies heavily on tourism as the major source of hard currency.

South Sudan tries to protect wildlife after long conflict

South Sudan is trying to rebuild its six national parks and 13 game reserves, which cover more than 13% of the country’s terrain, following the five-year civil war that ended last year after killing nearly 400,000 people. A fragile peace deal still has key steps to carry out.

The fighting stripped the country of much wildlife and the parks are rudimentary, lacking lodges, visitors’ centers and roads. There is no significant tourism; the parks department does not even keep statistics on the number of visitors.

Now the biggest threat to the country’s wildlife is poaching, the scourge that afflicts parks and reserves across Africa. The parks are also threatened by encroaching human settlements. Residents already burn swaths of land surrounding the park to clear it for cultivation.

Rangers are working to foster support for the parks among local residents, who sometimes go out on patrol with rangers. The rangers are also working to apprehend poachers or drive them out of the parks.

While progress is slow, several rangers said they are seeing more signs of animals during patrols than they did last year.

Wildfires

Wildfires – Croatia

Firefighters and Croatian army forces on Saturday joined a battle against wildfires threatening homes and wind power plants near the coastal Adriatic town of Sibenik. About 200 firefighters and 50 soldiers were deployed in the area south of Sibenik in the evening as the wind picked up strength and after firefighting aircraft that were deployed during the day had to withdraw for the night. Nobody has been hurt in the fires but people from about 30 houses in one village have been evacuated.

Wildfires – Oregon, USA

The Milepost 97 fire that started Wednesday night from an illegal campfire grew about 3,000 acres overnight to nearly 9,000 acres as of Saturday morning, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry and Douglas Forest Protective Association. Approximately 900 firefighting personnel, 15 helicopters, as well as large and small air tankers are currently assigned to the fire. Evacuation levels have been raised to level 1 (“Be Ready”) for homes on the west side of Interstate 5 between mileposts 83 and 88 near the Azalea area.

Disease

Typhoid – Zimbabwe

Officials in the capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare report seeing 858 new typhoid cases in the last six months, with the suburbs of Glen View and Budiriro hit the hardest according to a report in The Herald. No deaths have been recorded. The reason for the outbreak is due to its failure to constantly supply clean water and delays in attending to sewer bursts or leakages.